Emeran Mayer, MD


Emeran Mayer was born in a small town in Bavaria, where his family had established a confectionary business in 1873.

After an agonizing decision against taking over the family business, he finished Medical School at the Ludwig Maximilian’s University in Munich, and then completed his residency training at the Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, Canada before moving to Los Angeles to continue his studies.

There, he worked under the late John H. Walsh to study the role of gut-brain interactions, along with James Meyer on the role of stomach emptying, at the prestigious Center for Ulcer Research and Education. While there, he completed his specialty training in Gastroenterology at UCLA.

UCLA Brain-Gut Microbiome Expert

Internationally Clinical Authority on Disorders of Brain Gut Interactions

Author of 400+ Peer Reviewed Scientific Articles

Host of the Mind Gut Conversation Podcast

Mayer has had a passion for adventures, mountaineering, and documentary filmmaking throughout his life.

During his college years, he participated in several professional film expeditions, including stays with the Yanomamis in Venezuela, and the Asmat and Dani people in Irian Jaya, Indonesia. He climbed some of the highest mountains in the US (Denali), Latin America (Aconcagua in Argentina, Chimborazo in Ecuador, Pico de Orizaba in Mexico), and Mont Blanc in Europe. In 2015, he was an associate producer on a documentary film about a new ecological view of health and disease, “In Search of Balance”.

Throughout his career – both in his research and clinical practice, Mayer has pursued a Buddhist philosophy of interconnectedness, balance, and compassion.

He has explored ancient healing practices of the earliest peoples around the world, including Native Americans and those in Traditional Chinese and Aryuvedic medicine. He strives to integrate the wisdom of these traditions with the discoveries of modern science.

Emeran Mayer


Emeran Mayer is a world-renowned gastroenterologist and neuroscientist with 35 years of experience studying the clinical and neurobiological aspects of how the digestive system and the nervous system interact in health and disease. He has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Mentor Award from the American Gastroenterological Association, the Ismar Boas medal from the German Society for Gastroenterology and Metabolic Disease, and the 2016 David McLean Award from the American Psychosomatic Society.

His current research focus on the role of gut microbiota-brain interactions has expanded to include emotion regulation, chronic visceral pain, food addiction and obesity, cognitive decline, and autism spectrum disorders.

His research has been continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has published over 370 peer reviewed scientific articles, including 100 chapters and reviews, co-edited four books, and organized several interdisciplinary symposia in the area of mind-body interactions and chronic visceral pain.

He has published the Mind-Gut Connection book in 2016 which became a bestseller in Gastroenterology, and which has been translated into 16 languages. His next book, The Mind Gut Immune Connection, which links the health of soil and plant microbiomes to gut and brain health, was published in 2023.


– Research Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
– Executive Director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience
– Founding Director of the UCLA Brain Gut Microbiome Center

Some of the questions addressed in his research include:

• What are the brain mechanisms that regulate the subjective sensitivity to visceral, somatic, auditory, gustatory, and chemical stimuli?

• What role does food and the gut microbiome have in reshaping our brains?

• How does chronic intestinal inflammation alter the structure and function of the brain, particularly in sensory and emotion regulating regions?

• How do adverse events experienced early in life alter the brain?

• How do mind-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, affect the brain?

• How do the male and female brain differ in chronic pain?